Gatorade Player of the Year to honor spring sport athletes
Spring sports athletes, including boys and girls soccer players, will still be eligible for Gatorade Player of the Year awards.
Gatorade announced the decision to continue honoring spring athletes, despite most high school sports around the country being cancelled for the entire season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The prestigious award is determined based on the three pillars of on-field performance, academics and character. For athletes that had their spring seasons cancelled, Gatorade will still consider those players for awards based on the other two pillars, along with previous performance.
In the case of soccer, many states across the country completed their seasons in the fall. States that play high school soccer in the spring will not have an on-field component for the 2019-2020 campaign.
See below for the full statement from Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager, Brett O’Brien:
“For 35 years, the Gatorade Player of the Year program has put a spotlight on some of the country’s best high school athletes and perhaps more importantly, best leaders. While many high schools across the country have canceled or cut short their spring sports seasons in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re still planning to award spring sport athletes because we think it is important to recognize and celebrate these athletes for their accomplishments on and off the field.”
“The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee evaluates candidates on the program’s three pillars: athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character. While in-season performance is usually a key factor, the committee will consider as many performance indicators as possible, including but not limited to off-season achievements with club teams, previous accomplishments, and the latest scout analysis and recruit rankings, to help determine spring sport winners. The vetting process for the other two program pillars – academics and character – will be the same as always.”
“These athletes have worked hard for this level of achievement, and we do not think the cancellation of school sports should preclude the recognition they deserve. It is now more important than ever to celebrate spring sport athletes, and we look forward to recognizing those athletes over the next few months and naming the 2019-2020 Athletes of the Year this summer.”